If you have not read Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” you should. Though I do not write from a jail I feel the cold hard floor of the concrete and the imposing presence of the dark steel bars that are encaging the West. We struggle for equal access to opportunity and a better way to live. We yearn for the guaranteed entitlement to share in the access of political power that determines our call as distinct individual states and to work in cooperation with our sister states to form “A more perfect Union, a more perfect United States”
Today’s oppressors are not wealthy, white, elite segregationist but rather wealthy environmentalist, hell bent on keeping their boot on the neck of anybody who opposes them or their agenda. Water hoses and dogs are not the tools of the oppressors but rather judges and litigation, which bares no truth to the reality that it is their policies, which are destroying our natural beauty and the wellbeing of the resources we all depend on.
Today judges create policy, which have the full enforcement of law, but are they just? Do we have an obligation to peacefully oppose such edicts as passed by the courts? “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” and “Are you able to endure the ordeals of jail?”
Today we are dependent upon our ability to beg and grovel for SRS, PILT, Grants and whatever means we can conjure up to scratch a living and fund our schools, our roads, and county governments. And yet the Federal Government sits on land located within our borders and pays us pennies on the dollar for what the actual land base is worth. They pay us not to produce and in effect destroy the creativity of our citizens and repress the imagination of our children. We are treated like serfs on a federal plantation.
Why are we, in the West, smothering in an “airtight cage of poverty” in the midst of such abundance? Why would anyone deny us our birth right to opportunity, other than that they seek to control us? Martin Luther King told us from that jail cell in August of 1963, “History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.” and “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given up by the oppressor.”
In the past it was the majority imposing its will on the minority; today it is an elite minority through the overreach of unjust laws that attempts to control the majority. It is the consolidation of power through the courts’ unjust interpretations of law and a willing national congress content to assist in expanding its thirst for the consolidation of power. Remember everything Hitler did was legal.
Like Martin Luther King, we who engage in this battle are labeled radical, and extreme by an environmental lobby unwilling to communicate their true intentions, that of imposing a socialistic / communistic form of government. They do not wish for the free exchange of ideas but rather the oppression of our creativity. Their cause is contrary to the essence of man’s true nature.
However, I take refuge in King’s writings, “But as I continued to think about the matter, I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Jesus an extremist in love? — “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice? — “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ? — “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist? — “Here I stand; I can do no other so help me God.” Was not John Bunyan an extremist? — “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a mockery of my conscience.” Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist? — “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist? — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
“So the question is not whether we will be extremist, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate, or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The urge for freedom will eventually come.”
This idea of fairness and equality is not one born of late but rather one that has been placed upon our souls since our creation. It is manifested down through history as represented by the eternal struggle for man to seek and attain the highest of heights.
All we ask for is the opportunity to compete in the arena of ideas for the opportunity to succeed and to fail, to learn and create, and make this world better, for ourselves, and those around us.
Through our system of government the United States has demonstrated to the world that the creative genius of the individual is the key to meeting the challenges before us. Through this creativity we have cured many diseases, discovered ways to transport us around the planet and through space. We have engineered great buildings that touch the sky. Countless numbers of new inventions make our lives easier and more productive. We have reached beyond our solar system to see the vast expanses of the universe and peered into the marvel of our creation.
All this because man’s creative genius was unleashed, when a nation was founded dedicated to the aspirations of man’s creativity and the belief that we are the solution not the problem; and like King we in the West have a dream and long for the day when we can say “Free at last, Free at last.”